Back in 1977, when Kenner released the first successful line of action figures on the back of Star Wars, the little 3.5 inch figures sold out immediately. Possessing very basic articulation and a 'zombie' like pose, with stiff arms and legs, the figures were quite restrictive in their playability.
Shortly before, a new line of toys had appeared, to cash in on the space toy craze. Mego Micronauts were marketed in Britain by model kit giant, Airfix and appeared quite unceremoniously on store shelves. Airfix catalogues rarely showed them and they were unlike anything which had appeared before, except for the larger 10 inch figures in the short lived Denys Fisher Cyborg line.
The toys consisted of a standard 'Time Traveller' figure and a vehicle. The Travellers arrived in four colours of transparent plastic, with a chromed head. Whereas the average Kenner figure had five points of articulation, the Micronauts had 16 and were super poseable.
Add to this the vehicle line which was a range of modular, plastic and occasionally diecast land and air craft, all of which connected with a universal 5 mm peg system and the Star Wars X-Wing and Tie Fighters looked like last years models.
The LEGO-like interchangeability meant that almost any piece from one set could marry up with any other, making the only limits imagination and pocket money!
Blog reader and collector Dulla has sent us a series of photographs of his Mego/Airfix collection, which I will show over the next few weeks, as I am a firm fan of the Micronauts too. Here is the first model that I bought, the tractor- like Crater Cruncher. Winding the white knob at the back, primes the clockwork 'Torque Twister' motor, to send the craft speeding along the floor. From this simple design, the toys began to become much more elaborate and complex. Stay tuned for more Micronauts toys soon!